Writers Rendezvous March update – part 2

This part of the update covers topics ranging from writing retreats, to plotting your novel, to writing contests, to book advertising and distribution. Hope you find something useful for you here.

My friend Kristin Leonard runs writing retreats in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the next one takes place from April 14-18. If you’re looking to get away from all of life’s distractions and have dedicated time to write, with hiking and the camaraderie of spending 5 days and 4 nights with other writers, this may be for you. All you have to do is get there and write. We take care of everything else. From $1400 pp, everything included. More info and registration here.

If you’re planning to look for an agent for your book, Tessa McGovern of the Bloom Writers’ Studio will be holding a virtual Pitch Party on Zoom with top literary agent Cynthia Manson on April 28 at 11 am This will be an opportunity to pitch your book on Zoom if you’re ready – or an opportunity to watch someone pitch their book – so you know what to do when it’s your turn. Only eight spots are available, and some of them are already taken You’ll need your professional query letter and to be prepared to read it out loud. You’ll get instant feedback on your query, and where and how your book could fit in the marketplace. The session will be recorded. You will receive a replay of both the fiction and the non-fiction pitches. The cost is $147. Register here.

Canadian service for writers Authors Publish runs regular workshops on a variety of topics. Plot Your Novel – Plot Your Scenes with John Claude Bemis is a four-week virtual course beginning May 1-26 for writers who want to write a novel that keeps readers glued to the page, and meets the needs of publishers, all while honoring your vision as an author. It includes extensive personal feedback on your writing from John, so enrollment is strictly limited to 22 participants. Each week, you can submit work for feedback from John on your major plot points, outline, synopsis, and 2500 words of your manuscript. $497 early bird registration.

The Gotham Writers Children’s Book Conference will take place on May 20-21, and will be a combination of in-person and virtual. A good idea if you write picture books, middle-grade books, or young adult books and want to meet agents and writers in your genre. This will be the first in a series of new specialized mini-conferences offered throughout the year designed to bring writers of specific genres together with the top agents seeking specific genres. On Day 1, attend a series of panels on Zoom populated by some of the best and brightest writers in the industry, including a keynote interview with Newbery Winner and NYT best-selling author Matt de la Peña. On Day 2, two top agents will lead a four-hour discussion around the query letter and the first two pages of eight writers, focusing on the potential for publication of each project, and preparing writers for the next steps in their writing journey. One roundtable will be in-person in NYC, and the rest will be held on Zoom.

Scribes*MICRO*Fiction, an online journal that features only writing of 100 words or fewer, is planning to celebrate their second anniversary with The Scribes Prize, which is opening for submissions in May. Prizes include hundreds of dollars, publication in our October issue, and an award seal for the winners. Here are the details on how to submit.

If you’re having trouble organizing the end of your manuscript, or if you’re a panster (writing by the seat of your pant) who’s suddenly lost confidence in your plot, member Libby Waterford recommends this book by Dean Wesley Smith: Writing Into the Dark:

And I found this article from Kobo Writing Life with excellent and uncomplicated suggestions for how to get the bones of your next novel down. I’m happy to say that my mantra: Write badly, is among the suggestions, but there are other suggestions that I think I might use.

If you’re considering using Facebook ads to sell your book, Sandy Beckwith of Book Buzz has written an article outlining the process: Can a Facebook ad really sell books? One nonfiction author says “Yes!” Worth a read, even if only for future reference.

One of our members, Richard Seltzer, is looking for beta readers for his new novel, Sing, Trojan Women. For more information, please contact him if you are interested at seltzer@seltzerbooks.com.

Here’s the link to the podcast (on iTunes) I mentioned in last week’s meeting, with some fascinating info about Ingram Spark book returns. and why you should make your book non-returnable. 

Have a good writing month!

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